PROMISE: Maryland’s Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP), sponsored by the National Science Foundation, is a consortium that is designed to increase the numbers of underrepresented minority (URM) PhDs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields who will pursue academic careers. A strength of PROMISE is its alliance infrastructure that connects URM graduate students on different campuses through centralized programming for the three research universities in Maryland: the University of Maryland Baltimore County (the lead institution in the alliance), the University of Maryland College Park, and the University of Maryland Baltimore (UMB). PROMISE initiatives cover graduate student recruitment, retention, community building, PhD completion, and transition to careers.
Although it is not a fellowship, PROMISE offers professional development and skill-building programs that provide academic and personal support for URM students on all three campuses. PROMISE on UMB’s campus includes the School of Medicine, which sponsors tricampus programs that promote health and wellness to accompany traditional professional development programs. PROMISE uniquely and atypically includes a medical school within its alliance. The PROMISE programs serve as interventions that reduce isolation and facilitate degree completion among diverse students on each campus. This article describes details of the PROMISE AGEP and presents suggestions for replicating professional development programs for URMs in biomedical, MD/master’s, and MD/PhD programs on other campuses.